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Singer/Actor Michael Parks Has Passed Away At 77


(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Singer and actor Michael Parks has died at the age of 77. Writer/director/actor Kevin Smith broke the news on his social media accounts.

Michael Parks Cause of Death

Parks, 77, has passed away. The cause of his death is not yet known.

Smith took to Twitter and Instagram to break the news.

I hate to report that my cinematic muse #michaelparks has passed away. Michael was, and will likely forever remain, the best actor I've ever known. I wrote both #RedState and @tuskthemovie FOR Parks, I loved his acting so much. He was, hands-down, the most incredible thespian I ever had the pleasure to watch perform. And Parks brought out the absolute best in me every time he got near my set. From the moment I saw him steal the opening scene of #fromdusktildawn at an advance screening at the Sunset 5 back in the mid-90's, I said to @samosier "Could you imagine what it must be like to work with a Yoda of acting like that guy? I gotta write for him one day." It took me 15 years but my dream came true on Red State (for which Parks won Best Actor at the @sitgesfestival) and then again years later with #tusk. Only Michael Parks could have delivered the line "Is man indeed a walrus at heart?" and make it scary as fuck. My favorite memory of Michael is watching him and #johnnydepp act with and at each other, like a couple of dueling wizards, in their shared scene in Tusk. Parks was in Heaven that day, sharing the screen with another brilliant actor and creating an unforgettable performance. He elevated any flick or TV show he was in and elevated every director he ever acted for. I was so fucking blessed to have worked with this bonafide genius. But really, I was just lucky to have known him at all. My heart goes out to James (Michael's son), Oriana (Michael's wife), Quentin Tarantino (Michael's biggest fan) and any movie or music lover who was ever dazzled by the talents of Michael Parks. Farewell, old friend. I'll see you farther along… #KevinSmith #actor #genius #rip #walrusyes

A post shared by Kevin Smith (@thatkevinsmith) on

Parks began his professional career back in 1963 and appeared in a staggering number of films and television series. However, he is perhaps best known for his work in recent years with filmmakers such as Smith, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez.

Parks starred in the TV series Then Came Bronson from 1969 to 1970, even singing the show’s theme song (“Long Lonesome Highway”) which became a No. 20 Billboard Hot 100 track. He recorded three albums under MGM Records: Closing The Gap (1969), Long Lonesome Highway (1970) and Blue. Parks attracted a new generation of fan with his turn as the French-Canadian drug runner Jean Renault in the cult classic ABC Tv series Twin Peaks.

In 1996, Parks played Texas Ranger Earl McGraw in Rodriguez’s From Dusk till Dawn, a role he’d reprise in Tarantino’s Kill Bill series. In recent years, Parks teamed with Smith for horror films Red State (2011) and Tusk (2014). He also appeared in Django Unchained (2012).

He is survived by his son James and his wife Oriana.


  • COED Writer
    A New York native & proud couch potato who loves all things pop culture. I can usually be found writing, making videos and ranking all the warriors in "Game of Thrones" based on their fighting prowess.